06 June 2009 | 151nm SSW of Madeira
NE 10kt, fine, 1023 & steady
Photo of the 942' MV Darwin, bound Felixstow at 21kts; one of several ships that yesterday, kindly altered course to pass astern. The North - North East breeze has held at around 10kts, making for good daily runs in quiet seas: Day 1 - 128nm, Day 2 - 121nm.
Just one scary moment; at 0410 this morning, in very light winds, decided to start engine to top up batteries - CLUNK - start motor failed to run (start battery voltage was good at 12.7V). Oh Dear, 750nm to run, with large area of calms between here and Faial, thoughts of being out here for weeks! After checking out possible fixes, including tapping the starter with a soft hammer (as we had to do in the old Austin 7!), I finally realised that the 'CLUNK' had the sound of a flat battery (in spite of it showing 12.7V); so I paralled the start batt with the service bank and BINGO - engine started - phew! Hoping it is just a failing cell in the battery.
With 14 knots of wind at 45deg , VIENTE is clipping along at 6 knots right on course for Horta; with a Full Moon tonight - magic!